Monday, 5 November 2012

Pornography addiction and male infertility

Porn-addition, a growing and real condition, results in erectile dysfunction, performance dysfunction and ejaculatory dysfunction - with clear impact on fertility.
There is a new emerging problem in the world of male  infertility - pornography induced sexual dysfunction.  In addition to the hormonaly driven, various genetic and physical obstacles to fertility males face these days, there is a growing problem of porn-induced sexual dysfunction.  With frequent exposure to pornographic materials there seems to be a lessened sexual response in intimate situations in real life.  It is postulated that in individuals who are addicted to pornography the dopamine levels do not reach the right levels in the brain while being intimate with a partner. This translates to erectile dysfunction, performance dysfunction and ejaculatory dysfunction.  This poses a real problem for couples who are trying to conceive as well as putting strain on a healthy sexual relationship.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Knowing The Truth About Detox

So, you probably heard of all kinds of cleansing or detoxification programs out there, but the truth is that a lot of cleansing products have little actual detoxifying effect.  True detoxification has to be distinguished from so commonly seen purgative and diuretic effects.  While promoting the function of bowels and kidneys is important, true detoxification can only occur at a cellular level.  So, how do our cells accomplish this?    Well, I can demystify this marvelous process that takes place in our bodies every single day. 

Our bodies are capable of getting rid of many poisonous or harmful substances out of our systems through various ways: bowels, kidneys, lymphatics, liver, lungs and skin.  Some of the well known toxins we are exposed to are: environmental pollutants, pesticides, toxic pharmaceuticals, heavy metals, cigarette smoke, various carcinogens, exhaust fumes etc.   The major and most important organ responsible for detoxifying these harmful substances is our liver.  Among many other responsibilities that the liver has been entrusted with, the liver acts as the processing center and filter to help keep us healthy.
OK, so liver is important but how does it accomplish this huge task of detoxification?  The liver is equipped with 2 major detoxification pathways known as Phase I and Phase II.

Phase I detoxification involves cytochrome P450 enzymes.  It is the first step in neutralizing toxins in our body.  Phase I will attempt to change the toxin’s chemical composition enough to make it possible for it to be picked up by Phase II pathway.  It is accomplished by using oxidation, reduction, hydrolysis, hydration and dehalogenation reactions.  All this means is that, by using the above reactions, the toxins in question are primed or prepared for the final step – Phase II.  Unfortunately, many times, these half processed chemicals (called intermediate metabolites) can be more dangerous or active then its original form.  This is where the importance of unhindered and well functioning Phase II comes in.

Phase II pathway is central to an effective detoxification.  It needs to work well to get rid of all the active Phase I intermediates; otherwise we create a bottle neck that lets active toxins circulate throughout our body and potentially damaging tissues in their path.  Phase II utilizes conjugation reactions like: sulfation, glucuronidation, glutathione, amino acid conjugation, acetlylation, methylation.  These reactions allow the intermediates to be neutralized and made more water soluble and therefore can exit our bodies.
Although, Phase I pathways play an extremely important role in detoxification, it is Phase II that ultimately does the job and makes it possible for toxins to leave our bodies.  So, whenever you encounter a detoxification product or program you must wonder what does it really do?  Does it affect Phase I or Phase II or both?
Needless to say, that healthy lifestyle and diet are indispensable to everyday detoxification, but here are some tips on how to nutritionally stimulate the two phases of liver detoxification on daily basis:

Phase I:  B complex vitamins, folic acid, milk thistle, Vitamin E, selenium
Phase II: Sulforaphane, schizandra, taurine, N-acetlylcysteine, glutamine, glycine

It is important to keep in mind that everybody is different and detoxification programs have to reflect that as well.  It is best to see a professional health practitioner to have the right detoxification program chosen for you given your overall health assessment.  

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Knowing the truth about stress

Stress is highly prevalent in today’s lifestyle; the mere drive to work can stimulate your adrenaline in the light of the traffic congestion.  Stress can be activated through various stimuli: physical, mental and emotional, which in turn produce the fight or flight response. We all experience this everyday.  Adrenaline and noradrenaline are hormones produced by our adrenal glands every time we encounter stress.  Adrenaline has a number of effects on our bodies: it raises the blood pressure, produces anxiety, depression, elevates blood sugar as well as cholesterol levels.  Chronic, excessive release of adrenaline can have a profound effect on some major body systems, such as, the heart, blood vessels, immune system and adrenal glands.  With prolonged stress one feels exhausted, tired, depressed, starts to have circulatory problems and increased frequency of colds and flues as well as makes your organism more prone to allergies.

So what can you do to protect yourself from the adverse effects of stress?  Here are some tips you might find helpful.

There are various methods of relaxation. Here are some methods which you can do in the comfort of your home and at the time that best fits your schedule: meditation, progressive relaxation, self-hypnosis, biofeedback, prayer, guided imagery, acupressure, massage performed by your partner, yoga, tai chi, indulging yourself in your hobby…etc. 
It is important to keep in mind that every person is different and therefore you will have to find out which relaxation method works best for you.


Although exercise is a physical stressor, in moderation, it is a wonderful stress relief method especially for those of you who experience a lot of mental or emotional stress.  Exercise also has several physiological benefits such as: better cardiovascular function by improving heart muscle contraction and decreasing heart rate, decreasing blood pressure and cholesterol levels.  In addition, exercise improves oxygen and nutrient utilization by all tissues in the body, improves your endurance, energy, self-esteem and enhances your mood. With moderate exercise your body will reduce the secretion of adrenaline and noradrenaline so that you can cope with stress better.


This section is very important for all people undergoing acute or chronic stress, especially those who are very busy and cannot find any time for exercise or relaxation techniques.  Botanical (herbal) medicine has a lot to offer; however it is important to get the right botanicals in the right dosage.  There are several categories of botanicals that play a key role. 
First category is called adaptoges.  Adaptogens facilitate the body to adapt to stressful situations by improving adrenal function, improving immune system and tonifying the nervous system. Such botanicals are: Astragalus, Panax ginseng and Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian Ginsing).  
The second group of botanicals helpful in coping with stress are the adrenal tonics.  These herbs act directly on the adrenal gland making it work more efficiently.   Examples of adrenal tonics are: Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice) and Borage officinalis. 
The third group of botanicals is nervines, which work to calm and tonify the nervous system. These include: Avena sativa (Oats), Passiflora incarnata (Passionflower), Scutellaria lateriflora (Skullcap), Melissa officinalis (Lemon balm), Hypericum perfoliatum (St. John’s Wort) and Humulus lupulus (Hops). 

With all botanicals it is important to consult a health professional who can warn you about any possible drug interactions.  


Homeopathy is the use of natural substances of multiple dilutions, and is believed to provide an “energetic” stimulus to the body’s inherent healing ability.  This type of medicine is very useful in terms of stress reduction; however, the remedies are determined on the basis of individual’s mental, emotional and physical symptom picture.  Therefore, to have the right homeopathic remedy you should consult a  licensed naturopathic doctor or a homeopathic practitioner.


Nutrition is another big player in combating the effects of stress.  It is often times ignored or forgotten in our busy lives but we must remember that “we are what we eat”. 

All chemical reactions that take place in our bodies need coenzymes or vitamins and minerals.  Our body functions well as long as it has all the building blocks for these reactions to occur.  As soon as your diet is not sufficient to supply your body with vitamins and minerals especially in times of high demand (i.e. stress), the metabolism slows down, fatigue and tiredness set in.
With respect to stress there are certain necessary factors for proper adrenal hormone production.  They are: Vitamin C, B6, B5 (Pantothenic acid), potassium, zinc, magnesium and antioxidants.  Out of those, pantothenic acid is the most important one and it can be found in whole grains, legumes, salmon, liver, sweet potatoes and tomatoes.

Stress is a part of our everyday living and we need to know how to cope with it and support our body when it needs to.  The key in keeping yourself healthy through stressful times is to realize that all aspects of your health: emotional, mental and physical, need to be addressed at all times.

Monday, 13 February 2012

New applications of Modified Citrus Pectin

In the Naturopathic circles MCP or Modified Citrus Pectin is commonly known to prevent cancer proliferation and metastisis by lowering galectin-3 levels in the blood. However, new and exciting research is coming out showing other health benefits offered by MCP.  It is now thought to chelate heavy metals and environmental toxins as well as being an effective Natural Killer (NK) cells stimulator.  The applications of MCP are being taken a step further in the prevention of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular, kidney, liver fibrosis and others.  It is believed that the elevated levels of galectin-3 not only promote cancer formation and spread but stimulate chronic state of inflammation in the body and in turn contribute to chronic disease.